[Portfolio] Sections and Groups, Part II

Kara Stiles kara.stiles at rsmart.com
Mon Sep 28 16:27:33 PDT 2009

I had a grumpy list post last February about the Matrices tool not playing with groups/sections as nicely as some of the other Sakai tools do.

If the Matrices tool could *just* respect the permissions in the *group* realms for the site, then you could do this:

1. Remove the matrix.review permission from the student role in the site realm
2. Add the matrix.review permission to the Student role in the group realm
3. Create a new role in the group realm and call it StudentSection (or something)
4. Remove the section.role.student permission from the Student role in the group realm
5. Give the section.role.student permission to the StudentSection (or something) role in the group realms
6. Configure items 1-5 in the realm templates so you only have to do it ONCE!

...and as long as the Matrices tool respected the group realms the way Announcements currently do (and the way Calendar used to!), this would be a reasonable method of configuring the group realms so that users could view their group members in the matrix, but not their "section" members.

...Or you could just try and remove the section.role.student permission from the Student role in the group realm and see what happens, but I bet that would break a bunch of stuff.  I don't have an available CM integration on a test instance this afternoon, otherwise I'd try it out just for fun.

Anyhow, I'd vote to make the Matrices tool play nice with group realms, in the same nice way the Announcements tool plays with group realms.

Bye now,

Kara Stiles
Senior Functional Consultant
ICQ: 396517169

----- Original Message -----
From: "Marc Zaldivar" <mzaldiva at vt.edu>
To: "portfolio" <portfolio at collab.sakaiproject.org>
Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 8:00:59 AM GMT -07:00 U.S. Mountain Time (Arizona)
Subject: [Portfolio] Sections and Groups, Part II


We had sent out an earlier email in August about sections over-riding group access.  While we figured out that situation, we have a new one and I thought I'd solicit some advice/suggestions from you all.

Our development group has worked this summer to integrate our Sakai system (still running 2.5.x) into the Banner data.  They resolved this by allowing all CRNs from Banner to become "rosters" for a course site.  An instructor can then select a roster and automatically add students to the course.  All works as it should.

The trick is that this process also auto-creates a "section" for each roster added to the course.  This is to enable the separation of different CRNs if you add multiple ones to the same site (co-teaching is very big here, as is teaching multiple sections of the same course).  All that works fine too.

The problem becomes when we add a matrix to a course site.  Usually, we add these to portfolio sites, but a few courses are wanting to use the workflow of the matrix at the course level, not the program level.  The problem becomes that the section automatically puts all students in one group together, so there is no way to isolate them in small working groups with the group tool - no matter what, they are in a group with all students together.  We have 4-5 projects that want to "open up" the matrix to students sharing work with each other at the course level, using the "Review" permission turned on for students.  However, we can't do that if it gives access to all students to all other students.

SO, is there a way to isolate, in the database, sections from groups?  My thought is that we could somehow take "sections" out of the group awareness in the matrix, so it only paid attention to groups.  Are there other work-arounds that I am not thinking of?

Thanks for any perspective!


On 8/26/09 2:02 PM, "Summers, Teggin" <techambe at vt.edu> wrote:

Hi All,

I'm writing to let you all know of a problem we've encountered and to see if anyone else has had this issue.  We have an instructor using a matrix for collection of course materials.  He has sections for multiple class rosters within his course, and it seems that the sections are overriding his ability to create specific groups.  In addition, he is not able to see matrices for anyone who is not specifically listed in his roster or sections.

We are filing this as a bug, but I just thought I would send this note out to see if anyone else has encountered this problem.

All best,


Teggin Summers, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, ePortfolio Initiatives
2210B Torgersen Hall
Learning Technologies; Virginia Tech
teggin at vt.edu; (540) 231-0982

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